12/19/23 10:47 AM

12 Tips for Applying for Corporate Philanthropy Awards

Corporate philanthropy is not just a noble endeavor but one that can bring numerous benefits to title insurance agencies nationwide. Beyond the gratifying sense of community service, applying for philanthropy awards can significantly elevate your brand and resonate with your customer base on a deeper level. The ripple effect of such recognition can be felt within your organization's walls and beyond. However, the journey to winning such accolades is nuanced and demands a strategic approach. Below, we’ll cover our 12 tips for applying for corporate philanthropy awards, ensuring your company's efforts are recognized and additional awareness is brought to the organizations that you support.

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Why Apply for Philanthropy Awards?

Receiving a philanthropy award can look great in a press release to showcase your company’s commitment to your community, but the benefits don’t stop there. These types of awards can have outsized effects both inside and outside your company in ways that may surprise you.

External Benefits

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  • Public Awareness

    Receiving a corporate philanthropy award offers a unique opportunity to elevate public awareness and visibility for the charities your team supports. It not only highlights the company's role in supporting these causes but also opens doors for the charities to gain wider recognition. This increased visibility often translates into tangible benefits for the charities, such as a boost in volunteerism and a surge in donations. Essentially, the award not only honors the company's philanthropic efforts but also serves as a catalyst, amplifying support for the causes it champions.

  • Marketing

    You might be most familiar with philanthropy awards as a marketing tool, and that’s because they’re extremely effective. A majority of consumers consider a company’s corporate social responsibility efforts when making a purchasing decision, so showing an award for your efforts is the best way to prove you’re doing what’s right. Such recognition can be highlighted in marketing campaigns, press releases and social media, as the award brings awareness to your supported charities and amplifies your image by showcasing your commitment to community welfare. This positive publicity will lead to trust from the community and growth in your business.

  • Networking Opportunities

    Just like acts of service bring people together, celebrating that service can also unite community members. Philanthropy award ceremonies can give your employees access to a community network, opening doors to connect with industry peers, community leaders, and potential clients. These events serve as platforms where like-minded professionals can converge to foster valuable partnerships and long-term professional relationships.

Internal Benefits

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  • Employee Morale and Retention

    Awards can resonate deeply with employees, especially when they’re for a good cause. This recognition fosters a sense of pride and belonging within a company that employees don’t want to leave. That’s why studies show that corporate philanthropy significantly reduces employee turnover. Not only will your best employees remain with your organization, they will be reinvigorated by their mission, improving both their productivity and the entire company’s culture.

  • Attracting Talent

    The modern workforce, especially the younger generation, places a premium on corporate social responsibility when choosing where to work. One study showed that 70% of employees wouldn’t choose to work for a company that didn’t have a strong sense of purpose. These employees are looking for companies that align with their own personal values. If your company is celebrated for the great work you’ve done, you can become a magnet for top talent.

Where to Apply

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When looking for awards to apply for, start in your own backyard. Recognition from peers in your community will be much more valuable to your business than from a national organization that your clients might not recognize. A vote of confidence from a known and trusted source can go a long way, no matter where you are in the country.

One of the first places to look for corporate philanthropy award applications is your local chamber of commerce. Chambers frequently host award ceremonies to celebrate businesses that make significant community contributions. Similarly, industry trade associations might acknowledge member companies that go above and beyond in their philanthropic endeavors and connect you directly with peers in the industry. Local media outlets also spotlight companies that have made a difference with awards or features that commend their efforts. In 2018, for example, SoftPro was honored to receive the Triangle Business Journal's Corporate Philanthropy award. Such local recognitions underscore a company's commitment to its community and fortify its reputation in the industry and amongst peers.

Application Logistics

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The cost of corporate philanthropy awards involves more than just a potential application fee; there can be a significant investment of time and organizational resources. Organizing the service, monitoring its impact, and crafting applications can be challenging on top of your primary duty to your customers. However, the potential rewards surpass the costs.

If you want to smoothly navigate the hurdles of applying for a corporate philanthropy award in full stride, follow our 12 tips below.

12 Tips for Your Applications:

1.  Designate a Team: Assign a specific team to handle the application process for corporate philanthropy awards. This group can focus on gathering the necessary data, crafting a compelling narrative, and ensuring timely submissions. By centralizing the responsibility, the company can maintain consistency in its messaging, reduce potential oversights, and alleviate the workload from being distributed too thinly across multiple departments. If your main priority is to use the award as a marketing tool, consider assigning your marketing team to the job. If you’re more focused on employee retention and recruiting, you can look to your HR team.

2.  Set Clear Impact Metrics: Numbers speak volumes. For a corporate philanthropy award, showcasing your initiatives' measurable impact is imperative. Whether it’s the number of students who received scholarships, homes that were built, or community programs funded, these quantifiable outcomes provide concrete evidence of the difference your company has made. It not only demonstrates effectiveness but also accountability in how resources were utilized.

3.  Document Initiatives: Comprehensive documentation is foundational to any award application. This means meticulously recording every philanthropic initiative your business undertakes. This should go beyond mere numbers; photographs, beneficiary testimonials, and project progress reports can paint a vivid picture. The goal is to make it easy for the award committee to visualize and understand the depth and breadth of your contributions, leaving no room for ambiguity.

4.  Tell A Story: While metrics are powerful, human stories add depth and emotion. Craft a narrative that delves into individual stories, shedding light on personal transformations and heartwarming moments. Perhaps there’s a story of a student who achieved their dreams thanks to a scholarship for which your team fundraised. These stories connect on a personal level, reminding everyone of the real people behind the numbers.

5.  Align with Company Values: Philanthropy shouldn't be an afterthought but a reflection of the company's core values. When applying, make it evident how each philanthropic endeavor is an extension of the company's mission. Demonstrating this alignment underscores the authenticity of your efforts, ensuring the committee understands that your initiatives are genuine and deeply rooted.

6.  Aim for Innovation: The world of philanthropy is vast, and innovation can set you apart. Perhaps your company has employed cutting-edge technology to improve community infrastructure or developed a unique mentorship program. Highlighting such innovative approaches not only showcases your company's creativity, but also its dedication to making lasting changes in novel ways.

7.  Get Everyone Involved: True philanthropy permeates an entire organization. Showcase the enthusiasm and participation of your employees at all levels. Whether they've volunteered their time, contributed ideas, or donated resources, their involvement paints a picture of a united workforce. It underscores the message that giving back isn’t just a corporate decision, but a collective endeavor. Even internal contests for bragging rights among teams can be a fun incentive to build participation levels.

8.  Seek Third-Party Endorsements: External validation can be a powerful testament to your efforts. Seek out testimonials from beneficiaries, community leaders, or organizations you’ve partnered with. These third-party voices offer an unbiased view of your company's impact, enhancing credibility and adding an additional layer of trust to your application.

9.  Tailor Your Application: Every award has its unique criteria and ethos. Do your homework. Understand what the award committee values and tailor your application accordingly. Highlight those aspects of your philanthropic efforts that resonate most with the award's objectives, ensuring your application is both relevant and compelling.

10.  Be Transparent: Authenticity is key. While it's natural to want to showcase successes, it's equally important to acknowledge challenges faced or areas of needed improvement. Such transparency reflects your company's commitment to bettering its practices.

11.  Present Professionally: A well-presented application reflects seriousness and professionalism. Invest time ensuring that the writing is clear and grammatically correct, visuals are high quality, and documentation is organized systematically. Such meticulous presentation not only makes it easier for the committee to review the application, but also underscores the importance your company places on the award.

12.  Show A Long-Term Commitment: Philanthropy isn't just about one-off projects; it's about sustained, long-term commitments. Emphasize programs or partnerships your company has nurtured over the years. Showcasing these long-term endeavors reflects a depth of commitment and a genuine interest in creating lasting change rather than seeking temporary accolades.

The Bottom Line

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Successfully applying for a corporate philanthropy award requires thoughtful preparation and a genuine demonstration of your company's values. It's a testament to your commitment to both your business and the well-being of your community. While the process might seem formidable at first glance, the payoff in terms of brand enhancement, employee engagement, and trust from the community is invaluable. If you're ready to take this leap but are looking for some guidance or simply have questions about the process, don't hesitate to reach out. We're here to help you shine a spotlight on your philanthropic efforts and gain the recognition you deserve. Visit our website or call us at 800-848-0143, and let's make a meaningful difference together.

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